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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Great Website - Humber Lodge

I was surfing last night and wanted to find out why a lodge would advertise on the web for people to visit their site. I mean really... it is a lodge website afterall... what is the big deal. I clicked on one of the many Google ads for "Toronto Masonry Lodge" and wham I had "instant gratification".
The Humber Lodge website is unlike any other lodge website I have ever been to. If you know of others this good please tell me about them in the comments to this article. Instantly there is a great intro video to start and then after that you are drawn into a very well made website that is fun to surf. I must admit I have not been to through the whole site yet... I will be going back when I have more time. Honestly I spent at least half an hour on the one site. One point of interest that I would like to draw your attention to is the documentary on Masonry that is cleverly hidden in the site. After the intro if you look at the menu at the top of the site you will see an icon to the far right of the menu, looks like two faces. This link will open up one of the best documentaries on Masonry I have seen a quite a while. I'm a little biased however as much of it was done in my jurisdiction and one of the members of my mother lodge is a focal point of the documentary. If you do watch the documentary you may see Wes M. who is a member of my lodge.
Final conclusion is that if you are reading this article you are either a Mason or you are interested in the craft we call Masonry and you owe it to yourself to visit the Humber Lodge website. You will not be disappointed....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Masonry defined

I found this reference to Freemasonry in Wikipedia. Worth a look for the curious...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Skype and Fellowship

I'm always big on increasing the fellowship in the masonic fraternity. I kind of stumbled into Skype through my business research, looking for a way to cut my long distance costs. Well I started using Skype and now I'm a big proponent. This software is free and really has great potential. A few fellow masons and I have used this now to talk to each other for free and we made the comment to each other that we should bring this to the attention of others. I'd also like to point out that until the end of 2006 you can even call within US and Canada for free to landlines and cell phones, no long distance. While this has great benefit for business and domestic long distance budgets I feel it will help to bridge gaps and encourage greater fellowship amongs distant brethren. Send me a comment if you have any questions or would like me to add you to my contact list for Skype.
You can also click here to download Skype
I look forward to hearing from you... I have successfully talked to people in other parts of Canada and the US and one in Sweden and I'm eager to try a conference call between a few people across North America.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Masonic Witchhunts

by W:.Tim Bryce, PM, MPS
Palm Harbor, Florida, USA
"A Foot Soldier for Freemasonry"

As we all know, a Masonic Lodge is supposed to be an honorable
institution where Brothers are equal and enjoy harmony.
Unfortunately, the harmony can be disrupted when two or more Brothers
don't see eye-to-eye on something. Theoretically we are supposed to
respect the opinions of all Brothers, right or wrong, and let it go
at that. Basically, we agree to disagree. But it is sad when Brothers
use the fraternity to push their own agenda and besmirch the
character of anyone opposing them.

When I was Worshipful Master of my Lodge a few years ago I was often
challenged by my antagonists in the Lodge. I resisted the temptation
to lower myself to the level of my detractors and endeavored to rule
and govern the Lodge fairly. Whereas I could have dealt with them
harshly, the worst I ever did was gaveled one of them to sit down
during a lengthy discussion (which occurred only once).

Thanks to my business, I have been fortunate to see quite a bit of
the world, meet a lot of people, and have dealt with a lot of
corporations. A lot of people haven't had such experiences and, as
such, when they become head of a nonprofit group, such as a
Worshipful Master, it represents the pinnacle of their career. And
because of this, they become inebriated with power. As I tell all
incoming Worshipful Masters, Masonry is a volunteer organization. The
Master is a benevolent dictator who should be mindful of his
constituency. It is a privilege to sit in the East, not a right.
Without the support of the Craft, nothing will happen, regardless of
how power hungry you might be. Nonetheless, not everyone shares my
view on this and often use their term of office as a reign of terror.
I have seen more and more of this happening recently in the
fraternity. For example, what happened to the Grand Lodge of
Minnesota over their recognition of the Grand Lodge of France a few
years ago can best be described as "dirty-pool." The facts were not
accurately reported and the officers of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota

There have also been recent reports in other Grand jurisdictions
where the Grand Lodge officers have used their office to bully their
constituents, and to expel or suspend members over trumped-up charges
without the benefit of a Masonic trial. This is not Freemasonry as I
understand it. I have also seen Worshipful Masters and other Brothers
from craft lodges suspended due to political paybacks or because
someone simply didn't like the person. Its pretty scary when we see
Brothers digging up dirt on other Brothers, back stabbing,
fabricating distortions of the truth, and twisting the interpretation
of our rules to suit our personal needs,

Freemasonry is a multicultural, multi-denomination institution, with
Brothers who possess a wide variety of personal and professional
interests and who live under different socioeconomic conditions. It
should therefore come as no surprise that we won't always love all of
our Brothers. However, we should respect their right to exist and
treat them with the same dignity we afford all Masons, in a uniform
manner. This fraternity, which was founded on some rather sound
fraternal principles should prohibit such "witch hunts" from
occurring. Anything less is sheer hypocrisy. Freemasonry is not a
place for character assassination or to conduct some personal
vendetta. It only tarnishes our credibility as a noble institution.

How often have you heard someone say about a person being elected to
Master, "Well, its only for one year."? A lot can happen in one year.
Reputations can be ruined, Brothers can be suspended or expelled, and
life in general can be made miserable. This is why I still have a
problem with the manner by which we elect our officers. I am most
definitely not a fan of people "rotating through the chairs."
Instead, we should allow nominations and be allowed to ask about the
candidate's qualifications and motivation for seeking an office.

As the fraternity struggles with membership and finances, I would
remind you that now is not the time for alienation or estrangement,
but rather how we can best work together as a cohesive unit. We need
more Freemasonry and less Masonic Mafia tactics. Finally, I have only
one suggestion for those who believe in political domination and
control over a nonprofit organization: "Get a life." -

Keep the Faith.

Article reprinted with permission of the author and "FreeMason